Congress Strikes Deal To Match China's Fuel Efficiency Standards By 2020

Congress will require American automakers to achieve fleet-wide fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The deal struck late last night by Congressional negotiators and hailed as “an historic advancement,” would put America on the slow track towards meeting the same efficiency standards that Europe, China, and most of the developed world already enjoy.

Automakers are currently required to achieve fuel efficiency of 27.5 mpg for cars, and 22.2 mpg for light trucks, minivans, and SUVs. The Senate voted to raise fuel efficiency standards in June, but opposition from Detroit’s favorite spokesman, Michigan Congressman John Dingell, delayed House assent until now.

The package nearly fell apart this week when Mr. Dingell insisted on leaving sole authority to regulate automobile mileage standards with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an arm of the Transportation Department. That would have weakened the power of the Environmental Protection Agency and the states, led by California, to regulate auto emissions of carbon dioxide, which are in large measure a function of the amount of fuel burned.

Federal court rulings this year have decided this so-called pre-emption issue in favor of the E.P.A. and the states, decisions that Mr. Dingell hoped to undo by Congressional action. The traffic safety administration has had authority over fuel-efficiency standards since 1975 but has not imposed any significant increase since 1985. The E.P.A. is currently writing rules to comply with a Supreme Court ruling this year that gave it the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions and is weighing an application by California and 14 other states to set their own emissions standard.

The authority of the E.P.A. to regulate tailpipe emissions and the right of California and other states to set their own, higher standards were considered deal-breakers by Ms. Pelosi and her fellow California Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor of California, weighed in late in the week to tell negotiators that he would oppose the bill if the Mr. Dingell’s preemption language stayed in.

Mrs. Pelosi and Democratic leaders in the Senate rejected Mr. Dingell’s preemption effort, but softened the blow by agreeing to allow the car companies to retain a credit for vehicles capable of running on a blend of gasoline and ethanol. That credit was set to expire in 2008 but now will begin to decline in 2014 and be eliminated entirely by 2020.

The fuel efficiency increase is part of a larger energy bill that the House and Senate leadership hope to pass by the end of the year.

Lawmakers Set Deal on Raising Fuel Efficiency [NYT]
(Photo: *USB*)

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  1. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    It’s pretty sad when you have to “catch up” to China on something like that. Meanwhile, I’m trying to even imagine the price of a gallon of gasoline in 2020 (assuming there’s any left by then).

  2. DallasDMD says:

    Congress is the opposite of progress.

  3. rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

    Well prepare for heavy fog when burning ethanol.

    The thing burns fine and has a smaller carbon footprint than gas, but leaves suspended particles (I think, correction anyone?).

  4. Sam says:

    Pretty weak, for two main reasons. First, this is way too long of a time frame to give for way too modest of an improvement. And second, the light-truck distinction was left in. That distinction is woefully outdated, as so-called “light trucks” are rarely used in traditional truck roles (e.g., farm work) but instead are used primarily as passenger vehicles. There’s no reason for some passenger vehicles to have an easier target than others.

  5. ObtuseGoose says:

    I hope the alien overlords that take over what’s left of this planet in 2020, enjoy their higher mileage vehicles. Thank you, Congress. Yes, this truly is an historic advancement in how ineffectual you are.

  6. Sam says:

    @rioja951: Even if what you say is true, it’s not like gasoline is really much better. Particulates and oxides of nitrogen already contribute to urban haze. The real solution to this problem (and so many others) is plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles. With those, pollution is moved to a centralized location, where it can be cleaned. Or, as we continue our move to renewable electricity, no pollution at all may be generated from or because of your car.

  7. scraejtp says:

    I guess I’m the only one that thinks this is a bad idea because there should be no regulation at all.
    For some reason all of you feel that more government interference is the way to go.
    If you feel that using less gasoline is the right thing to do then fine, but to force it upon others is not.

  8. Sam says:

    @scraejtp: What about forcing water shortages, starvation, floods, and infectious disease upon others? That’s okay? Because if we don’t act quickly and effectively, that’s what’s going to happen.

  9. JiminyChristmas says:

    @rioja951: What you describe sounds like older diesel engines. The issue of particulates from diesel fuel combustion is a longstanding problem. However, it’s quickly becoming less of an issue thanks to the development of better filtration and regulations which require vehicle makers to use it.

    Modern diesel engines can get much better mileage than typical gasoline engines. Late model Volkswagen TDI’s can easily average 40+mpg. 2008’s should be even better.

  10. DallasDMD says:

    @scraejtp: Pollution and consumption of a limited resource is a collective concern, like it or not.

  11. Rando says:

    2020? …………………………..

  12. goller321 says:

    @scraejtp: These types of arguments are among the stupidest ever. If you don’t mind the CO2, then close your garage door and inhale away…

  13. goller321 says:

    This pathetic. 13 years to get to 35mpg… Just like the dems from California cow-towing to the MPAA and the RIAA… Michigan’s rep cow-tows to the auto industry. Much like the failing Sears/KMart chain, US automakers have no one to blame for their shortfalls than themselves. I mean really, Dodge is putting out ANOTHER muscle car for Christ sake! Yeah, that’s what we need.

  14. JiminyChristmas says:

    If you like the photo that accompanies this post, you’ll love this: FUH2

  15. ranwhenparked says:

    @Sam:
    @DallasDMD:
    @goller321:

    Not all of us share that doom and gloom mentality, and those of us that do, believe that market forces will ultimately solve the problem themselves regardless of government intervention.

    IE, if the majority consumers truly do want cars capable of 35mpg, then automakers without any governmental compulsion. The fact that (with a few exceptions)they pretty much don’t shows that the general public does not want those cars, but will be forced to buy them anyway by 2020.

    If the majority of the public believed the planet was in danger or that oil supplies were running out (they aren’t, but the easily recoverable ones are), then a demand for alternative fuels and high efficiency would exist on its own, to which automakers would have to respond. The fact that such demand is minimal shows that the majority do not share that mindset.

    Besides, since the market can react much more quickly to changing forces than the government ever could, who’s to say that petroleum-burning cars will even be relevant in 2020? Congress may react to present concerns in 13-year lags, but if companies want to stay in business, they better react much faster than that.

    If the first practical electric and hydrogen cars become runaway successes in the early to mid 2010s, automakers will build more of them so that by 2020, talk of fuel economy standards may just become irrelevant.

  16. JiminyChristmas says:

    @scraejtp: Sounds like someone has been reading a little too much Ayn Rand.

    Don’t worry, for most people it’s something they outgrow by age 16, or 19 at the latest.

  17. bohemian says:

    Twenty years? I refuse to buy anything that gets less that 30mpg in town today. Either make something with appropriate mpg or your not getting any cash from me.

  18. Major-General says:

    @goller321: And something equivalent from Mercedes-Benz is okay? I’m thinking the C55 AMG here.

  19. Sam says:

    @ranwhenparked: All I can say is that the market can not and will not respond with the swiftness that is required in order to avert the worst predictions of climate science. Government regulation is the only thing that can bring about the needed improvements in the needed timeframe.

  20. JiminyChristmas says:

    @ranwhenparked: Uhh, ‘market forces’ got us to where we are now. So, we should now trust these very same market forces to clean up the mess they made? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  21. humphrmi says:

    Great so we’ll produce as little poison as China does now by 2010.

  22. humphrmi says:

    DOH! 2020, even better.

  23. plaincorgi says:

    Oh wow, 35mpg, get back to me when it actually hits a worthwhile target.

  24. JackHandey says:

    @rioja951: Someone else may want to directly address if the “suspended exhaust particles” exist when buring ethanol, but I have always heard ethanol was a great motor fuel/additive.

    Ethanol as a motor fuel is not new, and there is a history of why we use gasoline vs. ethanol. The whole ethanol/gasoline story also ties into why they added tetraethyl lead to gasoline for so many years. Ethanol has great anti-knock properties. So does tetraethyl lead. Guess which one could be controlled by big business?

    For more information, check out The Secret History of Lead – The Nation
    [www.thenation.com]

  25. bobbiac says:

    This is such a shot in hte nuts for environmentalists. And I mean that literally. Their kids WILL feel this.

  26. overbysara says:

    2020????????????????????????????????

    ridiculous.

  27. Hamm Beerger says:

    Those other countries “enjoy” their high efficiency standards. Wow, all those 35mpg cars must make them sooooo happy.

    I’m with scraejtp and Ayn Rand on this one. And I’m way over 16. Or 19.

  28. joelja says:

    If the regulatory stick is more effective at forcing the automakers to get with the program then the the regulatory carrot did then great sound public policy should necessarily inform the regulatorym enviroment… change will do them (automakers) good. The alternative is that their business plunges off a cliff in a couple years, when their customers can no longer afford to use the products they sell.

    If this results in the R and D dollars being spent in places that decrease the environmental or economic footprint of automotive use that has more direct benefit to everyone who drives (the people who read this blog for example) than figuring out how to get 750hp instead of 500 from a 4l v8.

  29. balthisar says:

    I can’t believe that something so consumer-oriented forgets so readily that the consumer is the one at fault here. We’re talking CAFE — corporate average fuel economy. Every manufacturer already makes cars that meet these standards. Hell, they sell them today in China, Europe, and most of the rest of the developed world. It means shit though, if you sell that car to six people in North America if you sell 20 gas guzzlers. It’s an average. Those big cars seriously offset the small cars. Ford can come out with the most awesome, B-size car in the world tomorrow, and it might get 60 mpg, but it’s meaningless if I don’t want to be a European, and choose to drive in something spacious, comfortable, and happens to use more gas.

    What we need to do is provide some incentive to choose to drive smaller cars.

  30. warf0x0r says:

    @randotheking: There’s no way the big 3 auto makers could do this before 20/20 without going bankrupt… in fact I’m interested to see if they will be able to get this done by 2020.

  31. Logan26 says:

    @Sam: “What about forcing water shortages, starvation, floods, and infectious disease upon others? That’s okay? Because if we don’t act quickly and effectively, that’s what’s going to happen.”

    Right, yet another person who has bought hook line and sinker into the whole bs that is global warming and its impending doom to us all.

  32. Logan26 says:

    @joelja:

    I prefer my big block V8s with high horse and high torque, go drive your prius and leave my vette, stang, camero, charger, challenger and full size pickups alone.

  33. spinachdip says:

    @Logan26: 2004 called. It wants its politically fashionably myopia back.

  34. RAZ says:

    Ok Folks, what will happen is when the next President will come to power he will increase MPG beyond this puny increase.

    Of all serious the presidential candidades only Mitt Romney is against the increase.

    Let’s hope that Rudy will win.

  35. Landru says:

    I recently got rid of a big 17 mpg wagon and got an old civic station wagon that gets 27 mpg in town and 35 or so on the freeway. The first time I filled it up it felt like gas prices had dropped almost in half.

    Also the old wagon made me feel (as far as the environment went) that I was needlessly burning barrels of gasoline in the street.

  36. spinachdip says:

    BTW, isn’t China one of those emerging economies that pollution apologists like to cite when they argue, “Why do we have to do our part for the Earth when these countries are worse than us? Waaaah!”?

  37. consumer_999 says:

    I can’t express how depressingly lame it is to shoot for a goal of 35MPG. By 2020. One would think there would be revolutionary changes by then. Way to aim for the ground.

  38. xenti says:

    Wow. 13 years to get where Europe was three years ago.

  39. AD8BC says:

    @scraejtp: I may be one of the few here that agree with you! There should be no interference from the government at all. When they learn how to squeeze 35 MPH from passenger vehicles (that all passengers actually want to purchase and drive) then the natural forces shall prevail! Until then, I’ll keep driving to work alone in my full-size F-150.
    @Logan26: Thanks Logan. You stole my thunder. It seems that 90% of Consumerist readers actually belive that Al Gore shit.

  40. EtherealStrife says:

    It seems like this is at least a step in the right direction, if not nearly as severe as many of us had hoped.

    @RAZ: If I were you I’d start memorizing the words to God Save The Queen.

    @Logan26: Those will make some nice lawn ornaments after being outlawed.

  41. kbarrett says:

    AD8BC:

    Get a diesel PU.

    Great mileage and you can use it to blow thick black smoke into the face of that Prius driver behind you.

    My huge diesel Suburban can be driven over 1700 miles on 80 gallons of diesel … about the amount of diesel you would get by using heat-depolymerization to reduce 1 metric ton of dead Gore-worshipping hippy into fuel.

  42. TurboBrick [LIGIER] says:

    I like efficiency but I can’t stand the American fuel mileage lobby. The attitude seems to be that GM has a super secret full size SUV hidden in a warehouse in Detroit that runs on hugs and sunshine comes out of the tailpipe. No, no, and no. The consumers themselves are the problem.

    Fuel efficient cars have existed for ages, people just wont buy them unless the gas guzzlers are penalized heavily with higher registration fees and increased gasoline taxes = This is why Europeans “enjoy” higher mileage standards. Heck, a ’91 Hyundai Scoupe with stickshift and no AC or power steering will achieve 45 MPG when cruising at 55mph.

    The solution is simple, but you can understand why no politician with a survival instinct wants to suggest it. Idea: Take the revenue and use it to fund nationalized healthcare. If gas price doubled my monthly expenses would increase $150-200 but I’d save $300 in insurance costs.

  43. ranwhenparked says:

    @JiminyChristmas:

    The market determines whether or not a problem even exists in the first place.

    If consumers continue to buy gas guzzlers, then obviously, the country as a whole has decided that fuel efficiency isn’t a problem. If the market shifts to demanding 35mpg cars, than the public has decided it IS a problem.

    In both cases, its up to the public to decide what types of cars they want to buy. And, with 13 major manufacturers competing in the U.S. market (and more on the way in), the automaker that doesn’t respond will feel the pain. Again, government involvement is unnecessary. Carmakers will build whatever the public wants them to build.

    We elect Congress to represent us in political affairs, but in economic matters, we are quite capable of representing ourselves. Every purchase we make is a vote for the product/company we patronize and a vote against the ones we don’t. We vote every 2 years for Congress, but vote a dozen times a day for the companies that supply our consumer goods.

    Look at the facts- the Big Three automakers once controlled our car market by building big, thirsty landyachts. Then the Japanese essentially took over in the 70s and 80s by selling the opposite- small, thrifty compacts. Americans didn’t start buying Hondas, Toyotas, and Datsuns because Congress ordered them to, they did so because those companies best satisfied the needs of the public at the time.

  44. coaster.n3rd says:

    The Family of 7 that now has to travel in 2 smaller cars thanks you.

  45. courtneywoah says:

    Wow…I cant believe there are people who still don’t believe in global warming…it is going to be the gloom and doom of the world if people don’t start taking this more seriously (just look at the facts) and while your looking at the facts look at those that don’t believe global warming is a reality, what’s their motive? Everyone gets so pissy when it comes to talking about this, but I have failed to see the benifits of “pretending” that a global crisis IS here.

    Oh and I feel really bad for that family of sevens grandchildren cause at the rate were destroying this planet there is not going to be much left for them.

  46. TurboBrick [LIGIER] says:

    @coaster.n3rd: Pure nonsense. That family will be driving the same size vehicle except that it’ll be powered by a 2.5L turbodiesel instead of 6.0L gasoline incinerator, and they’ll be forced to actually depress the accelerator pedal all the way down to merge on to the highway. Oh, horror!

    I’ve seen enough many large European families load themselves into a Nissan Patrol or Mitsubishi Pajero truck, and their sanity or lives weren’t in danger because of a smaller engine.

  47. goller321 says:

    The small minded, short-sighted pinheads that bought Bush’s crap hook line and sinker can’t give it up even after Bush himself has coped to it. What do you expect though, these are the same morons that believe that the Earth is only 5000 years old and the rapture is due any day now. They haven’t the intelligence or the common sense to see a gun staring them in the face. I just wish there were a way to blow their heads off without taking the rest of us with them.

  48. BK88 says:

    @courtneywoah: Here is some reading for you to see the other side and why some of us don’t believe the non-existent consensus-debate-is-over-UN-study bull crap the is being spread around.

    read some good stuff here: [schnittshow.970wfla.com]

    Many different sources for you.

  49. Logan26 says:

    @goller321:

    Thats because they aren’t trying to merge onto US highways where if you aint atleast doing the speed limit by the time you are ready to merge, you’ll get run over. Or shot in certain cities.

  50. BK88 says:

    @goller321: I hope someone says that about you next time you are wrong on something and see how you take it. Quite rude and unnecessary.

  51. Logan26 says:

    @goller321:

    The earth is several billions of years old and I still dont freakin buy into the “OH MY GOD ITS GLOBAL WAMRING, THE WORLD IS ENDING” BS that so many of you people have bought into.

  52. IamZardoz says:

    Anybody with brains will realize the biggest scam going is ethanol (brought to you by Archer Daniels Midland). I bet for every gallon of ehtanol produced there are 5 gallons of pure water wasted not to mention the added costs of either having to transport it by truck or train since you cant put it in a pipeline. If they want to save fuel the best method is not to produce electricity with fuel oil, but rather use coal, Nuclear, wind ect… Making electricity with fuel oil is a waste. The price of gasoline over the next few years will steer the market towards more economical cars over time anyway.

  53. nosirrahg says:

    Isn’t it the increased fuel taxes in Europe that led the consumer to prefer more fuel-efficient vehicles in the first place?

    As much as I hate to say it, the “push” approach of forcing US manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient cars isn’t apt to work, because the consumer has no motivation to buy. If on the other hand there were additional taxes that increased our gas prices to $6+ per gallon, THEN the consumers would be “pulled” to more fuel-efficient vehicles.

    But if you’re a politician, who do you want the public mad at; the government, or the “evil” car manufacturers? If the government were truly concerned about the environment, they wouldn’t be focusing on the manufacturers. And consider this, when our gas consumption drops because cars are averaging 35 MPG, we’ll be buying less fuel (in theory), which means fewer tax dollars to fund new road projects (let alone repairs of the existing system). As the fuel economy average increases, you can bet taxes on fuel will as well…but we won’t complain about it as much because we’ll just be thinking “thank goodness I’m not still driving that old car and spending twice as much on fuel as I am now”.

  54. JHJVJR says:

    Europe has more fuel-efficient vehicles because:

    1. Diesel emissions regulations are more lax in Europe.
    2. Most safety equipment isn’t mandatory, which leads to lighter vehicles.

  55. Namilia says:

    I’m with the minority that hasn’t bought into the Al Gore hyped global warming – oh wait – climate change – just like scraejtp, Logan, and AD8BC.

    I do not think it is the government’s place or right to dictate every aspect of our lives for us.

  56. Beelzebubba says:

    1) Changes in regime, technology, and the uncertainty of energy prices between now and 2020 make this sort of decree completely worthless.

    And yeah, for both practical and philosophical reasons I think that the government shouldn’t be involved in most of the things it’s involved in, but that’s another debate.

    2) Free markets would work if people would stop fuc**ing with them — when you fuc* with them, they’re not free markets anymore!!!

    But seeing as how market adjustment takes a little time, and we as a society have come to expect instant solutions and instant gratification, it’s not surprising that we don’t let them take their course. All you Keynesians can spout off about the short run and the long run and being dead and blah blah blah, but I think that intervention will almost always do more harm than good because you can’t take the politics out of the policy-making process.

    It’s kind of like picking at a scab. We know the scratch will heal faster if we just leave it alone, but we can’t resist.

    3) The finger in the opening shot looks like it belongs on ET.

  57. DallasDMD says:

    The free market doesn’t work here because the free market does not care about 1) the environment and 2) long term thinking.

    Global warming is not the only reason why this is important. Certainly you don’t want pollution contaminating your own living space, do you?

    Although our government is notoriously bad at regulation, there is no other alternative to address the problem than to force the hand of automobile manufacturers and individuals who buy SUVs when they should be driving compacts.

    Your freedom to do whatever you want ends when it affects everyone else. Plain and simple!

  58. ironchef says:

    @Logan26:

    those macho cars meant to compensate for inadequacies. Mostly for show and image.

  59. Beelzebubba says:

    @DallasDMD: How can you say that the free market doesn’t work when we haven’t truly given it a shot?

    The “free market” is nothing more than the amalgamation of consumers making decisions which reflect their best consumption decisions given their wants, needs, and perceived financial parameters — “it” is you and me and everyone else on and off this board. If more people care about the environment than not, that will be reflected in OUR buying choices, i.e., there will be increased demand for environmentally-friendly products, and industry will respond or risk losing market opportunities. But, again, this sort of shift doesn’t always take place overnight, and we won’t give supply and demand the temporal and ideological room it needs to work.

    As for “long-term thinking”, do you really believe that the politicians who are out there making laws are genuinely concerned with the long-term effects of their decrees!? Really? The only thing they care about is being re-elected, and what better way is there to do that then make a headline-friendly declaration that they won’t actually have to answer to because, come 2020, no one will remember. They’re slimy, but they’re not necessarily dumb.

  60. stinerman says:

    @DallasDMD:
    In a truly free market you would have standing to sue someone for polluting the air you breathe and force them to pay a fraction of your medical bills that were the result of their pollution. Same as if someone threw their trash all over your property. No one really sees it that way; they treat the atmosphere as if it’s a big communal landfill. After the junk comes out of their tailpipe it becomes an NMP (not my problem).

    Since it’s impossible to track every last pollutant, we socialize the problem and spread the costs of polluting and cleaning the air via taxes. I really don’t mind if people want to buy their 8mpg Hummers so long as they pay to clean up their share of polluted air.

  61. Neurotic1 says:

    Well, contrary to what many have posted here, the US is by far the biggest polluter in the world! We’re a country of consumption. Consumption = waste. Where do you think all the waste go? Google Kyoto Portocal and ask yourselves why the US is the only industrialized country that refuses to ratify the treaty.

    I guess none of that matters as long as we can drive around in our Prius, drinking our lattes, and proclaim ourselves “green.”

  62. goller321 says:

    @Beelzebubba: My god, where do people like you come from???? Free Market doesn’t work, because we don’t live in a theoretical world- we live in the real world. And in the real world, the people in positions of power seek to remain as such, by any means necessary. In the case of poor performing vehicles, oil companies and car makers profit from us consuming vast quantities of gas. They therefore lobby governments for things like Dick’s Energy Policy, which was written by those same execs, bribe politicians just like Veco did in Alaska and suppress technologies that may come along.

  63. goller321 says:

    @BK88: The difference is, is that when I am wrong, I’m not wrecking the planet in the process. If I (and the vast majority of the planet’s population) are wrong, then the worst that happened was some guy with a tiny wiener wasn’t allowed to drive a Hummer or a sports car, or a soccer mom had to switch to a smaller vehicle instead of the Expeditin she has no need of.

  64. 00solstice says:

    @goller321: You clearly feel passionate about what you believe, and I can respect your passion. However, when your arguement digresses into intelligence assessments of those who don’t share the same view you do, you alienate your reader. It’s entirely possible for an intelligent, educated, articulate person to come to a logical, albeit completely different, conclusion on a topic than you have. That’s what makes the exchange of differing ideas beautiful. Lay off the “stupid/moron/pinhead/lack of intelligence or common sense” remarks; your opinion and argument should stand on its on without such inflammatory rhetoric. Besides, you’ll never get people to jump onto your bandwagon by insulting them.

    @IamZardoz: So eventually we’ll no longer rue Big Oil, but Big Ag instead? ;-)

    @TurboBrick: It’s been said Americans buy cars based on horsepower numbers, but drive them based on torque. With that in mind, I don’t think many would be disappointed with the acceleration of a decent turbo-diesel. The new sulfer standards should go a long way to bring more attractive diesel alternatives to our market.

    As for the topic itself and other comments. An efficiency increase of 25% within 13 years is pretty lame, and I agree that holding light passenger “trucks” to a different standard than passenger cars is a cop-out. I’m against a gas-tax as discussed above — it forces and contrives the market as much as a congressional mandate does, except it pressures the consumer instead of the manufacturer… and I could do without that pressure on my wallet, thank you very much.

    So yay for progress, and boo for dragging our feet and pretending the legislation is something it isn’t.

  65. goller321 says:

    @BK88: Your link was full of corporate paid scientists and non-scientists that are right-winged hacks. Any time something isn’t good for business, it must be dismissed as lies. People not willing to at least consider the possibility of global warming are simply too selfish and self-centered to do so.

  66. goller321 says:

    @00solsticeI wish it possible to simply exchange ideas, but I have learned long ago that the people I am insulting won’t change their mind no matter what anyone says. They aren’t worried about anyone but themselves and their pleasure. And I can only assume they are complete idiots since they fall for the crap the right-wing is spewing. These are the same types that fight to get Creationism into Biology classes (thinly veiled as ID), believe that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and that while it was good that Clinton’s affair turned into an impeachment, outing a CIA operative is no big deal. Let’s call a spade, a spade… or an idiot an idiot.

  67. Beelzebubba says:

    @goller321: Where do I come from? Obviously, somewhere you have never been.

    I have no problem with people who don’t agree with my views, so long as they can make a decent attempt at articulating why they feel the way they do. Intelligent debate is at the heart of an informed (and therefore effective) democracy.

    BTW, I own XOM, and it’s done well for me. Once you own a certain number of shares, they give you the coordinates to the warehouse where the “magic 500 mpg carburetor” has been hidden away. Shhhhh…don’t tell. It’s a secret…

  68. 00solstice says:

    I will offer this idea, as mentioned (again) by my dad at Thanksgiving dinner. He feels the quickest way to get people to consume less gas and spur people to reconsider their vehicle choice and driving habits is to yank out all the credit card readers from gas stations. Make people pay cold, hard cash for the gas they purchase, so they understand completely — at the time of purchase — how their driving habits affect their budget. I recognize implementation of that idea is impossible, but it does highlight a valid point: excessive consumption of any commodity and easy credit are not entirely unrelated.

  69. NotACoolGuy says:

    @Beelzebubba:
    The market hasn’t been free since Teddy Roosevelt started busting trusts back around the turn of the century. Our government has its hand in pretty much every aspect of the market since then and they will for ever and ever. I understand, politically, where “free market” advocates like you are coming from, but I don’t think that kind of thing really works anymore.

    Like others, I think this so called “free market” (that isn’t really free) is what got us into this mess in the first place. Also, like others, I understand that a market with few regulations doesn’t care about the environment. The arguement that consumers will buy efficient cars when they think that they really need them falls apart when you consider people like Logan26 and AD8BC that don’t believe there is a problem and buy inefficient cars because they are misinformed (or stubborn), and people like me who buy inefficient cars because they are completely indifferent to the environment (seriously, fuck trees). When there are too many people like us out there, the government must step in to keep us from being stupid, because the free market idea has a huge shortcoming in this case: by the time your average consumer realizes he needs to save the environment because there are no trees or oil left and the air around him is 110 degrees and smog gray in September, it will be far too late. Sure, there are probably (definitely) political motivations, for the legislation, but that isn’t the point here.

    Also, you can theoretically sue people with inefficient cars based on precedents set by frivolous and stupid second-hand smoking cases.

  70. Logan26 says:

    @goller321:

    Oh, like the same paid for hacks who say the sky is falling? Puhlease.

  71. Logan26 says:

    @goller321:

    Not all people who buys vettes, stangs, challengers, chargers or other muscle cars do so to make up for something, its because the like the feel of pure power at their control. You can’t get that driving a moped.

  72. ExecutorElassus says:

    @BK88: Wow. That stuff was hyperbole of the sort I’d expect from the intelligent design people. An example: one article claims Al Gore wants “a $50,000 tax on SUVs … The ensuing destruction of the car business would hurt blue-collar workers, not the rich. ”
    Try this: find me some peer-reviewed scientific articles written by independent researchers (that is, not funded by the oil companies or right-wing lobbyists acting on their behalf) that disputes the fundamental premise of the global warming “hoax.” Just like with intelligent design, the argument crumbles the minute we ask for some solid science to back up your claims.
    and @Logan26: Why, exactly, do you need to own a machine to feel like you’re controlling something powerful? I think that’s what’s meant by the whole compensation hypothesis. But I’m just being facetious.
    And lastly, the argument that independent consumers can make their own decisions outside of govt. influence neglects the power of advertising and cultural habituation. If you ever visit Europe, you’ll find that people generally here don’t get turned on by large horsepower the way Americans do. It comes across as being distasteful to consume so conspicuously. We’ve been conditioned to value consumption in a way that most other industrialized nations haven’t.

  73. blazer says:

    well, i hate this because most cars will lose performance once they apply that law or whatever this is, okay its bad for the environment but what would a 250hp v6 Corvette be like?

  74. ExecutorElassus says:

    @blazer: Try flooring a Tesla. Those things go, man. Of course, they also cost 100 large, but I met a guy from GM who told me off the record that he could lay rubber and get 0-60 in something ridiculous out of his electric MINIVAN.

  75. trollkiller says:

    The earth is getting warmer, but it has done it before and is a natural cycle. Has man helped it along this time? Yep, but not to the degrees the tree huggers believe. Hippies if you want to help mother earth, stop smoking pot. Do you know how much that pollutes the air?

    Should we strive to decrease pollution? Of course, pollution means inefficiency and as momma always says, “cleaner is better.”

    The Federal govt. should not mandate fuel mileage especially if it is going to shoot for such a low number. Hell you can almost meet the goals by proper tire inflation and minor weight reduction.

    This country needs to reduce oil consumption for security reasons. We do not need to be held hostage by a bunch of countries whose people think beating a rape victim is justice or want to kill a teacher because she allowed a teddy bear to be named Mohammad.

    Personally I hope gas prices jump through the roof. Americans are a resilient and innovative people. One a need is there, a solution will follow.

    Me, I am waiting on the Chevy Volt [www.chevrolet.com]

  76. TechnoDestructo says:

    @scraejtp:

    Here’s what happens, best case, if things go your way:

    People keep driving whatever they want (or rather, people keep driving whatever they want from among the choices given to them by the automakers…THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION TO MAKE) until all the easy-to-get oil is used up and fuel becomes so expensive that automakers are forced to sell either ultra-efficient vehicles, or eventually (almost certainly eventually) vehicles which use alternative fuel sources exclusively.

    Sounds good so far, right?

    But no. This is bad for petrochemicals, and possibly jet and diesel fuel too (assuming those aren’t all on agricultural alternatives by then). No demand for gasoline, and demand for oil in general decreases. So the price should decrease, right? Wrong. There is no more oil available at the lower prices. All that’s left is the expensive world-running on gasoline oil. And that price has to be supported solely by those industries still running on oil. Any petrochemicals that can’t (cheaply) be made from natural gas or coal are going to get pricey, relatively quickly.

    Wean cars off oil sooner, and you can soften that blow.

  77. KJones says:

    The Honda Civic got 50 MPG (NOT a typo) in the late 1970s. There’s no excuse for vehicles to get less than 30 MPG now. The car industry know how to build more efficient engines, it’s just that they and their customers don’t want to change.

    When the OPEC oil crisis hit and oil jumped to the unimagineable price of – wait for it – US$18 per barrel, Americans stopped buying gas guzzlers and started to buy Hondas, Toyotas, and Datsuns (now named Nissan). That was when the “big 3″ (more like “pig 3″) stopped being the largest car makers in the world.

    But that’s not happening this time. People are oblivious to reality and keep buying tanks that get 10 MPG. And I doubt people are going to listen until it’s too late. The reali inflation rate (which the US Fed has been hiding for 30 years) is starting to reveal itself. I would not be surprised to see oil top out at $130 per barrel and US$5.50 per gallon for gasoline. And people will still pay for it.

  78. RvLeshrac says:

    @Sam:

    Not true, still have to manufacture and dispose of the batteries. Lithium is highly volatile, and expensive to recycle and store.

  79. MsClear says:

    I’m pretty sure that my frickin’ 98 Corolla already gets 35 mpg, at least on the highway.

    Spare me the Ayn Rand bullsh*t, please. People will probably be able to adapt to global climate change, but it’s not going to be a pain-free process. God help the billions who do NOT live in advanced, industrialized economies.

  80. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Sam: Randroids don’t believe in externalities.

  81. danio3834 says:

    What kills me about CAFE and the 35mpg standard that its purely backed by people like @goller321: here. People who think that they figured out the best way to live, and be damned if you dont follow them.

    They are going to tell you what to drive, not the market, your income or your taste.

    They don’t like SUVs, so you cant have one. And they arent content just telling you what a planet killer you are, they are going to legislate you to death about it.

    They arent interested in doing anything about their percieved problems, theyre going to make you change your ways. They arent interested in looking in their own back yard, or sacrificing anything themselves. Theyll make you do it.

    There are some basic fundamentals that make this country great (and free). One of those fundamentals (used to be) that you could buy a fancy car if you could afford it, and dammit you could enjoy it and drive it.

    Driving cars is good for our nation, our economy, our sanity, and not quite as bad for the environment as everyone seems to think.

  82. TechnoDestructo says:

    @KJones:

    GM didn’t stop being the largest automaker in the world until…what, was it this year, or last?

    But yeah, that’s when the writing first appeared on the wall.

  83. BK88 says:

    @goller321: So you are saying that the Earth is at the perfect temperature right now? Who decided that? Since when did the trend of of cyclical temperatures the EArth has had for millions of years decide to stop? Why was it global cooling in the 70’s and we had to warm up the earth? And it was more global warming in the 20’s and 30’s?

    Just beware, that the Al Gore and the likes want more control over your lives to take more of your hard earned money to give it to others.

    Do I believe the Earth is warming, yeah it probably is. Is it caused by man to the extent “peer-reviewed” scientists who wrote one page for the UNCC who had to change it to make it flow with the pre-drawn up conclusions of the summary say it is?

    By the way, the polar ice caps are metling on Mars, where are the SUVs there? GASP, it could be the giant fireball in the sky called the Sun.

  84. agb says:

    we can’t know anything for sure. We should ignore both economical and environmental science and follow our hearts. Then, if we’re doomed, at least we’ll be happy.

  85. Mike the Dog says:

    @trollkiller: Yours is one of the most insightful, sensible posts I’ve read here so far. Until that last sentence. Did you ever wonder what that “On board range-extending power source” is, exactly? My guess is “gasoline engine”.

  86. RvLeshrac says:

    @ExecutorElassus:

    Research funding does not equal research bias.

    It doesn’t matter WHERE the research comes from, as long as it is solid, peer-reviewed, and duplicated.

    @trollkiller:

    “We do not need to be held hostage by a bunch of countries whose people think beating a rape victim is justice or want to kill a teacher because she allowed a teddy bear to be named Mohammad.”

    But it *IS* OK to be in a country where people think dragging a homosexual from your truck is OK, or where the religious leaders say things like (and keep in mind that these aren’t just random idiots spouting random statements, these are ‘respected men’ who members of our government frequently refer(-red) to for guidance in official matters of government policy):

    “The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society.”

    “Individual Christians are the only ones really — and Jewish people, those who trust God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — are the only ones that are qualified to have the reign, because hopefully, they will be governed by God and submit to Him.” (re: only allowing christians and jews to hold appointed government offices) -Pat Robertson

    “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'” (re: 9/11)

    “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.” – Jerry Falwell

  87. Mike the Dog says:

    @danio3834: What kind of car did George Washington drive? How about Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and John Hancock?

  88. TechnoDestructo says:

    @BK88:

    Ever seen a cat try and jump up onto a counter or shelf and it doesn’t quite jump high enough, and there’s nothing that it can sink its claws into to pull itself up, so it falls back down on its ass?

  89. RvLeshrac says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    (I know, not relevant to the discussion at hand, but it has to be said)

    @ExecutorElassus:

    Take a look at the post right below yours, and you’ll see a big part of the problem. People in America aren’t willing to give up cars that are capable of driving four times faster than the posted speed limit.

    Another part of the problem is that energy-efficient vehicles are ridiculously expensive, and out of the reach of most people. I drive a ’91 Bonneville because it was cheap. There’s absolutely no way I could afford to drive a hybrid or an electric.

    In the long term, the Bonneville will cost me more, but I’m less worried about the $60/mo on gas than I am about the $400+/mo in car payments I’d be making on a hybrid/electric, in addition to energy costs.

    Speaking of energy, *many* Americans live in apartment complexes. Running a power cord from your outlet to the charger is fine when you have a garage, but how am I going to run a power cord the 200′ from my apartment?

    For E85, where am I going to buy fuel? The only place I know that sells it locally is many, many miles away. The fuel savings are offset by the fact that I would have to use it all just to go refuel.

  90. Sam says:

    @ranwhenparked: The market determines whether or not a problem even exists in the first place.

    That’s absurd. The market may reflect what the general public thinks about a problem, but a problem can exist without the public’s knowledge or without their interest. What determines the problem in this case is atmospheric chemistry.

    The fact that you bring the Japanese shift into this discussion shows that you fundamentally misunderstand the problem here. It’s not that I want the government to mandate higher fuel efficiency because that’s what I think consumers want. If that were the only thing I cared about, I’d have no problem letting the market take care of it at its own pace. That’s not the case though; I want higher fuel efficiency standards because if we don’t drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in a few decades, bad things are going to happen. We don’t have time to wait for the car-buying public to vote with their wallets, which may never happen as the current popular obsession with climate change wanes.

  91. RvLeshrac says:

    @BK88:

    You missed that whole science chapter on ‘atmospheres,’ eh? Try this experiment at home: heat up your toaster oven to 450, placing a pan near the heating element. Wait about 20 minutes.

    Put on an oven mitt and then place your hand on the pan inside the oven.

    Now take the oven mitt off, and put your hand on the pan.

    Your hand is a planet. The oven mitt is an atmosphere. The third-degree burns on your hand are to teach you that you need to listen to people who can, at the least, still remember middle-school planetary science.

    @Mike the Dog:

    Stallions and Broncos, all.

  92. RvLeshrac says:

    @Sam:

    I think he’s right. Remember how no one bought those lead-tainted toys, and the beads with GHB? People just *know*.

  93. Sam says:

    @ad8bc:

    Okay, you can either sit with your head in the ground, blindly bashing everything that climate scientists have determined to be true over 20 years of study, or you can actually read a little bit.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Summary for Policymakers 2007. A panel made up of hundreds of scientists in fields relating to climate change and its effects, especially climate scientists. Messages: global warming is definitely happening, we’re causing it, and bad things are going to start happening if we let it continue.

    Stern Review, Executive Summary. An analysis by the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, who determined that the costs of letting global warming hit the world full force would be much greater than the costs of mitigation, never mind the ethical issues involved with letting people die.

  94. Sam says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Very good point. We have to remember that global warming isn’t the only problem tied up in our oil addiction.

  95. Sam says:

    @warf0x0r: Wrong. If Europe can achieve these kinds of fuel economies, then we can too. And don’t worry about SUVs. In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences found that fuel economy for large SUVs could be improved 42% using tech that would pay for itself in fuel savings; this didn’t even include the gains that could come from increased use of diesels and hybrids. (From Hell and High Water by Joseph Romm.)

  96. Sam says:

    @Namilia: I do not think it is the government’s place or right to dictate every aspect of our lives for us.

    Your entire life centers around fuel economy?

  97. Sam says:

    @Mike the Dog: Yes, it is a traditional engine. However, while I don’t know about the Chevy Volt specifically, the idea is that plug-in hybrids will have traditional engines that get great fuel economy and be capable of running on biofuels, so as to minimize greenhouse gas emissions during the instances (surprisingly rare) when that engine has to be engaged. And even when it is engaged, the car would still be operating as a traditional hybrid.

  98. qmsterling says:

    Just one example of when it’s embarrassing to be an American :(

  99. parnote says:

    The real and only reason that Americans (and the rest of the world) will “willingly” pay $5.50/gallon for gasoline is because of the lack of a viable alternative. And for as long as there is money to be made (big oil company profits are at an all time high), those making the money have a vested interest in preventing any viable alternative, mass-use fuel source from achieving any appreciable market penetration.

    Yes … those who are in power (the big oil companies) seek to remain in power. What better way to remain in power other than to insure that any competing fuel source never sees the light of day in the marketplace!

    Wake up people! Before it’s too late!!!

    I am NOT a bleeding heart liberal. But I am educated and can see the handwriting on the wall. I CAN see the barrel of a loaded gun pressed to the head of life and civilization as we know it. The ambitions and aspirations of the few (the rich and greedy oil companies) do not serve the ambitions and aspirations of the masses.

    Think about it. If a viable alternative were allowed to market, then think about how many fortunes would be ruined. Think about how many jobs would be LOST. Think about how much control these “select” few will lose over the rest of us. Think of how a whole industry would be either lost, or be forced to make major adaptations (with a lower profile) in order to even survive.

    Control the source of energy and you rule the world. Look at how things are shaping up now.

    Who are the biggest supporters of hydrogen fuel? The oil companies. Even President Bush, with his riches founded in the oil companies, has jumped on board. This is because the oil companies are already trying to re-invent themselves and adapt. And they select hydrogen as an alternative fuel, because the process to make the hydrogen to be used as a fuel source is perceived as complicated and out of the reach of all but the wealthiest (the oil companies).

  100. Trai_Dep says:

    Wow. In listening to the Free Market Uber Alles folks yammering on, I begin to understand how Copernicus felt when trying to convince fogy dress-wearing, heretic-burning Catholic* priests that the Earth revolved around the sun.

    * and kid-f*cking. Can’t forget the kid-f*cking.

    PS: Parnote, another wrinkle to the 100 reasons the Oil Companies are using fuel cell to shift the debate away from them doing the responsible thing: their efforts are on converting oil to hydrogen. Versus, say, water. Keeping everything bad, in other words.

  101. headon says:

    @goller321: Is it really necessary to call people with opposing views names. You pinhead.
    Oh BTW, There is no global warming.

  102. kbarrett says:

    The second a post gets tagged with the words “Global Warming”, the chicken little green wackos show up and start yammering.

    It’s almost as bad as yelling “Ron Paul” on a conservative blog … the nuts arrive immediately.

    OH well … this problem is self correcting.

    Greenie fanatics generally don’t breed, now we just need to remove these dweebs from any educational responsibilities.

    Tomorrow belongs to our kids … not to you.

  103. burgundyyears says:

    @Neurotic1: Because it’s an untenable waste of time. No country’s going to meet it’s requirements unless they intentionally self-destruct and cripple their economies – oh, except the countries that got off scot free.

    @Sam: So will you be the first to send $10,000 to the UN and certainly give up your personal transport to fix global warming – sorry, climate change? If not, why not? You clearly think they have our best interests in mind.

  104. Logan26 says:

    @NotACoolGuy:

    Its not that I dont believe there is a problem, I simply dont believe the sky is falling like so many others do.

  105. Logan26 says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    UNfortunitely, it isn’t as simple as that.

  106. trollkiller says:

    @Mike the Dog: Yours is one of the most insightful, sensible posts I’ve read here so far. Until that last sentence. Did you ever wonder what that “On board range-extending power source” is, exactly? My guess is “gasoline engine”.
    Yep, it is a gas engine. When you go past the range for the batteries the engine kicks in a recharges the batteries as well as provide electricity to the drive motor. This hybrid is better for me than the current hybrids that use electricity below a certain speed and gas on the higher speeds.

    Until the technology makes an electric vehicle that can go 2000 miles without a charge, we will be stuck with some kind of power generation on board.

  107. trollkiller says:

    @RvLeshrac: You dare to compare the USA to people that saw the heads off innocents or blow up children to get 70 virgins? Wow! Lay off the bong.

  108. goller321 says:

    @danio3834: First of, I DON’T back this legislation. I think it is a pathetic, symbolic gesture- not real, comprehensive legislation. I’d like to see 60mpg by 2020, and 35 by 2009.
    Second, I rather enjoy driving SUVs (though I’d use them for what they were originally intended for), it’s just that I REALIZE that my choices impact others. So I choose not to drive a gas guzzling death machine.

    Second, I DO sacrifice. I pay a premium for renewable energy sources on my electric bill, I recycle, I drive as fuel efficient a vehicle as I can afford, and I try my best to reduce my consumption of all items. The people that are talking about limiting other’s “right” (end sarcasm) to own gas guzzlers have already made sacrifices in their lives. But screw you and your “right” if you decide you don’t care what impacts you have on others.

    I find your version of what made this country great pathetic and worthless. Please tell some WWII vets that they fought for your “right” to destroy the country they worked so hard to protect. We have plenty of inalienable rights in this country, but this ain’t one of them. Your opinion of what makes America so great is exactly why our country is faltering now. Your self-centered, screw my fellow American and the rest of the world attitude because “I have the money to do it…” is a sad commentary on where we have gone. When your’s becomes the prevelant opinion, I hope this country does fall.

    And your last bit about driving being good for America??? Are you a complete moron??? Please move to Southern California and tell me that cars don’t put out pollution! Please tell me how relying on foreign governments for our main source of power is good! And yes, Road Rage is on the rise, because driving is GREAT for our sanity…

  109. kimsama says:

    @goller321: Wow, that was actually very moving. I think you hit the nail on the head — since when did being an American start to mean being proud of our ignorance, our stubbornness, and our ability to ignore the needs of others?

    I wish we could reinvigorate the American spirit of innovation, compassion, and respect and leave this childish “me first and me only” mentality behind.

  110. goller321 says:

    @headon: Yes it is, because since we aren’t face to face, I can’t throw you a beat down. And yes, I am one liberal not afraid to use physical violence when necessary… or just cause some moron deserves it.

  111. goller321 says:

    @trollkiller: You are kidding right? These are the same people that firebomb abortion clinics and beat to death homosexuals for their sexual preference. These are also the same people that called for Chavez to be assassinated. And the difference is where???

  112. WV.Hillbilly says:

    @ExecutorElassus:
    “If you ever visit Europe, you’ll find that people generally here don’t get turned on by large horsepower the way Americans do. It comes across as being distasteful to consume so conspicuously. We’ve been conditioned to value consumption in a way that most other industrialized nations haven’t.”

    Ooh, you’re so sophisticated and refined.

    It takes about 5 minutes to drive across Europe.

    Try driving across the vast expanses of the American west in some pathetic euro-box.

    Horsepower & speed rule. I really don’t give a shit what mpg my car gets.

  113. kbarrett says:

    GOLLER321:
    And yes, I am one liberal not afraid to use physical violence when necessary… or just cause some moron deserves it.

    Oooooohhhhh … an internet tough guy.

    I am not impressed.

    Here is a free clue for you. Opinions that differ from yours ( and name calling ) are not a valid excuse for violence. Some of us conservatives tend to deal with threats of violence in ways you may not be accustomed to in whatever socialist victim-disarmament hellhole state you are currently living in.

  114. goller321 says:

    @kbarrett: And those ways would be…

    My statement was more of a joke, you’re seems to be a thinly veiled threat. Please feel free to elaborate on what you may do to me for my “threat”… you gonna send me to Gitmo? See ya tonight when you come with that black ops team of yours…

    And since this has digressed into an almost exclusively environmental argument, let remind everyone…
    We are paying for both sides in the war in Iraq, our’s and their’s. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the more money we give them, the more money they have to spread terrorist activities.

  115. kbarrett says:

    I see … when you threaten to harm others for mere words, it is a joke, and we should all understand and laugh, but when I state that physically attacking me will result in immediate countervailing force, It becomes a “thinly veiled threat”?

    Here is another free clue for you.

    I don’t make threats to harm people for having opinions I disagree with, or to harm people who say bad things about me, as you had just done, and are now claiming is hyperbole on your part.

    Fine … I will assume that your statement was meant as hyperbole, and not a real threat.

    I will retaliate very violently against anyone that attempts to use physical violence. No thin veil there at all.

    I am completely harmless to all … unless you initiate the first use of force against me.

  116. kbarrett says:

    As for money and terror … I agree.

    The sooner oil gets to $200 a barrel, the sooner people will pay for alternatives.

    I would like to replace the 6.2L diesel in my Suburban with a Strontium-90 powered pebblebed reactor … the more oil costs, the closer that day comes.

  117. hotrodmetal says:

    What I don’t understand here is why the “pollution problem” is assigned to autos/trucks/etc almost exclusively, and then on top of it all becomes a political issue. Big industry all over the world pollutes & consumes in much bigger way than the end users driving cars.

    Companies buy the right to pollute and emit crap into the air every day. Check it out.

    Yes, it is a good idea to increase mpg, but the government shouldn’t be involved. This measure is half-ass & full of holes.

    Most Americans aren’t going to be told what to do by anyone. We make the rules for ourselves. We don’t buy into any far away self righteous set of countries or organizations setting the standard for all of us. Our country was settled by people that were rebels to begin with, and that attitude will probably never go away.

    The system needs to be put on trial. Automobile technology is antiquated anyway. There hasn’t been any real advancement since the 1920’s. Just refinement.

    If You don’t like pollution, vote with your wallet, or stop driving, or stop farting, or doing anything that will endanger the “environement”

  118. celyn says:

    And in the meantime, Toyota is releasing a hybrid minivan in Japan this year. Here and here are the photos I took of it in the Toyota HQ showroom in Nagoya, Japan in May. (They also had a hybrid pickup, but I didn’t get any photos of it.) Call me when our car manufacturers and Congress make it into the 21st century.

  119. Logan26 says:

    @goller321:

    Man, do you ever shut up about the “sky is falling” mentality that all you liberal, tree hugging, others who have differing opions than me are racist, homophobes who wish to destroy the planet have. The world is not going to end, it will be here long after we are dead and gone, and that includes our great great great great great grandkids. This planet has survived metor impacts far more devestating than this “sky is falling” mentality you have will have on the planet. So please stop wishing to impead on my rights to own and drive what I want to own and drive.

  120. bmoredlj says:

    Wasn’t it a major breach of Security to allow Saudi Arabia to buy up Aramco? Why did we let that happen?

  121. Vince Burlapp says:

    Does that mean Bob Lutz will threaten canceling cars again???

  122. trollkiller says:

    @goller321: The difference is you have a few individuals committing a crime and they are prosecuted by the Govt and condemned by the majority of those that follow the “same” religion vs. being support by their Govt. and praised by those that follow the “same” religion. If you can’t tell the difference you are either very stupid or are just being an asshat for internet jollies.

  123. The Walking Eye says:

    @Logan26: If the atmosphere is destroyed because of us, then the planet won’t be here forever and ever and ever.

    The government isn’t telling you that you have to drive a small car, it’s telling the auto industry that they need to develop technology that gets better gas mileage. The “free market” would then dictate that the big 3 would make more fuel efficient trucks, SUVs, etc. in addition to cars, would it not?

  124. goller321 says:

    @Logan26: Yes, the planet HAS been hit by meteors… and gee what happened there??? While humanity almost certainly would weather the climate change, there is a very real possibility that the people that have contributed less to this problem than anyone will be affected most. Famine, water shortages and loss of land will be devastating for the US, but catastrophic for most developing countries. And for the LAST time, you have NO RIGHTS to own or drive anything. It is a privileged. Please show me where cars are addressed in the Constitution please. This self-entitlement bullcrap is quite tired.

  125. goller321 says:

    @trollkiller: If the Christian Right had their way, the only difference between the US and Syria would be the god we were forced to worship. And the fact that we have a sitting President that has repeatedly denied the existence of evolution and butchered science data to fit their needs doesn’t put us that far behind Ahmadinejad.

  126. goller321 says:

    @hotrodmetal: You are correct. There are many other sources. There’s a very real reason to cut down on beef consumption, as the produce methane which stays in the atmosphere much longer than CO2. And CO2 sinks are being destroyed (Amazon) to make way for cattle ranchers. The soil erodes very quickly when the forests are cut down and then farmers are forced to move further into the rain forests. Additionally, lawnmowers and other gas driven power tools put out a ton of pollutants. Cars are merely the surface, but they’re a start.

    Personally, I think the Iraq war should be funded solely by a gas tax. That way people that are getting the most out of this war (gas guzzlers) pay for the privilege they get to have (driving inefficient vehicles.)

  127. trollkiller says:

    @goller321: And for the LAST time, you have NO RIGHTS to own or drive anything. It is a privileged.

    Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Do I really need to explain this to you? Private property means property that you OWN not the Govt. Please take the time to read the Constitution before spouting off.

  128. trollkiller says:

    @goller321: If the Christian Right had their way, the only difference between the US and Syria would be the god we were forced to worship. And the fact that we have a sitting President that has repeatedly denied the existence of evolution and butchered science data to fit their needs doesn’t put us that far behind Ahmadinejad.

    I recall that Bush said intelligent design should be taught along with evolution but I don’t recall him denying the existence of evolution. Please cite sources. I agree with Bush, when only 42% of Americans believe in evolution, ID should be taught or at least brushed on. If nothing more than to keep the science honest. [www.stuff.co.nz]

    Making a statement like “if the Christian right.. blah blah blah” is like making a statement like “if the homosexuals had their way we would all be having b*tt s*x”. You will always have those with very strong self righteous opinions. (go look in the mirror) The difference between here and there is the strong opinions are tempered by the rest of us and is NOT the rule of law. For every “God hates Fags” reverend, there are thousands of “God loves Everybody” ministers.

    If you can’t tell the difference you are in need of help. Seriously, put away the forks, knifes and other sharp objects.

  129. trollkiller says:

    @goller321: Personally, I think the Iraq war should be funded solely by a gas tax. That way people that are getting the most out of this war (gas guzzlers) pay for the privilege they get to have (driving inefficient vehicles.)

    You are just trying to make me throw my computer into the lake. Admit it!

    If we were in Iraq for oil we would be paying $1.50 a gallon and the war would be wildly popular.

  130. Logan26 says:

    @goller321:

    You are a liberal nut job. I have the right to pursue happiness and own property. IE:Anything I want to own within the limits of the law and gas guzzling huge pickups and muscle cars are legal last time I looked. The fact you want that right to be taken from me and others just shows your mentality. Also, owning a car is a right(IE: property), driving is the privledge. Please learn the difference between the two.

  131. Logan26 says:

    @trollkiller:

    Carlos Mencia said it best, next time you see someone who has been to Iraq, especially a soldier, ask them the last time they had McDonalds, BK, Arby’s, KFC or any other major chain fast food place. The answer might surprise you.

  132. trollkiller says:

    @Logan26: Please comment further as I am not sure I am getting your point.

  133. icntdrv says:

    We’ll all be underwater by then. Will the submarines be required to meet the same fuel efficiency ratings?

  134. 42Fordtrucks says:

    The need to import all the oil so people can commute solo in a Hemi Ram means we will be entangled in the middle east forever. Raising fuel efficiency means less dependence on the middle east and we won’t need to fight wars for oil. The cost of gas should reflect not only the pollution costs, but the military costs for a foreign energy supply line. I am happy to commute with an efficient 4 cylinder and have my fun fuel buring car for the nice weekend run.

  135. AD8BC says:

    @Sam: Or, “Glenn Beck: An Inconvenient Book” — #1 on the NYT Best Seller list, despite having not been mentioned at all in the liberal media.

  136. Logan26 says:

    @trollkiller:

    The real point behind the war wasn’t but corporate america. Namely, Capitalism. McDdonalds, Arby’s, BK and other well known american companies have since opened up busniess in Iraq.

  137. RvLeshrac says:

    @trollkiller:

    See, I can still agree with you while disagreeing.

    The situation in Iraq is born of pure stupidity, and was started for all the wrong reasons.

    None of those reasons was oil. If those reasons involved oil, we would have taken the oil fields by now. The people who keep yammering about it being “blood for oil” are woefully misinformed.

    And with regards to your prior post, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    Don’t bold ‘private property’ and end it. You need to read the entire statement. No one (I hope) wants the government to swoop in and steal your car. Everyone *should* want the government to force automobile manufacturers to begin manufacturing affordable vehicles which use alternative fuels, or at the least have higher MPG ratings.

    You also have to read ‘just compensation,’ though I don’t want the government swooping in and paying (as with property) ridiculously low ‘calculated’ values (blue book, which is worthless unless you’re an insurance company) for vehicles, effectively stealing them.

    You can feel free to drive your gas-guzzler or what have you, I just don’t want ‘gas guzzler’ to be a choice when you need to buy a new car.

    We can rebuild them. We have the technology. We can make them better, stronger, more fuel-efficient. We just don’t seem to give enough of a damn.

  138. spinachdip says:

    @trollkiller:
    “only 42% of Americans believe in evolution”

    Couple of problems with this:
    1. At the time of the 2004 elections, the majority of Americans thought Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks. So forgive me if I don’t share your Family Feud method of measuring veracity.

    2. Scientific theory isn’t something you believe in. Believing in something is based on faith. Science is the exact opposite – it’s self doubting. See, science, er, evolves through skeptics testing theories, disproving facts, making qualifiers and refining them. And based on available facts, the conclusion that a reasonable person reaches is that, while Darwin wasn’t right 100% of the time, he wasn’t wrong about the concept of evolution and natural selection.

    The problem with teaching ID alongside evolution is that it’s neither science nor theory, because it’s not testable – to accept it, you have to believe in it. If it must be taught in school, it should be taught alongside other mythologies (btw, ID pushers write a lot of fun stuff, like the how human eyes couldn’t have developed through natural selection).

  139. RvLeshrac says:

    @ranwhenparked:

    The market shows that people are unwilling to pay the currently inflated prices for them, not that they don’t want them.

    If you have a choice between a $24,000 gas-guzzler or a $40,000 hybrid, and you’re barely making ends meet (as most Americans), your choice can only be one thing.

    @headon:

    That’s… utter crap. Even the human-causality deniers don’t argue that there isn’t any global warming. The argument is over whether or not global warming is influenced by humanity, and whether or not we can cull harmful influence, including the ‘how’.

    @spinachdip:

    You forgot to mention

    3) Science is not a popularity contest.

    If science was a popularity contest, the earth would still be the center of the universe, disease would still be caused by the ‘humours,’ and we’d all go in for trepanation and bloodletting whenever we had the sniffles.

    @Logan26:

    I agree, but my oversimplification was intentional.

    And here: when the sky *IS* falling, it will be too late to do anything about it. That’s why the objective is to plan ahead.

  140. trollkiller says:

    @Logan26: and @RvLeshrac: It was not to push KFCs and whatnots onto the Iraqi people. We attacked Iraq for a couple of reasons. 1) We had the legal right to do it according to the UN resolutions 2) Saddam supported terrorists and had WMDs. Captured documents and Saddam’s own admissions confirm this. And most importantly 3) Location, location, location. Take a look a globe and see what countries border or are very close to Iraq. [upload.wikimedia.org]

    By knocking out Saddam’s regime we are able to install a “friendly” Govt. and set up military bases that will allow us to police the region. If we need to attack Iran so they don’t obtain nukes, we don’t have to ask for fly over permissions.

  141. trollkiller says:

    @RvLeshrac: Don’t bold ‘private property’ and end it.

    I was just trying to show the obvious fact that the constitution does confirm the right to own property. Seems that some loopy Lefties on here don’t think it is true.

  142. ironchef says:

    One day the world will run out of petroleum. It’s a non renewable resource. DUH.

  143. spinachdip says:

    @RvLeshrac: BTW, I should have mentioned this, but the best part about intelligent design is that the very think tank that dreamt it admits that, in their words, “intelligent design itself has no content”. Basically, they wanted to show that evolution could be controversial, so they came up with this collection of Creation-inspired wishful thinking, to show how there could be, if someone tried hard enough, maybe, a theory that could challenge Evolution.

    Once you get past the intellectual dishonesty, wingnut think tanks are pretty awesome.

  144. trollkiller says:

    The following is long and off topic. Feel free to skip.

    @spinachdip: With Family Feud you get kisses…. come on everybody needs kisses.

    Seems to me the best way to show evolution is right is to be able to compare it to ID, Why are you afraid to teach ID along side of it? Why are you afraid to compare?

    My problem is not evolution is taught but how it is taught. You say “Science is the exact opposite – it’s self doubting. See, science, er, evolves through skeptics testing theories, disproving facts, making qualifiers and refining them.” and that is true, I could not agree more.

    Now go pick up a middle or high school science text book, what you find is not the self doubting of science but a fairy tale of facts. There is no doubt, no qualifiers, no refining. 1 + 1 = 2, reptiles + evolution = birds, Neanderthal + evolution = human.

    We are a home schooling family and you would be surprised how much crap there is in text books. Thank God for the History Channel, and the internet. Something new pops up we can incorporate it right into the study. We are also able to look at the different theories, compare them, discuss them and sometimes improve them. You would be surprised how fantastic it is to watch a child think, and create their own theories and be able to support why they think the way they do.

    I believe in God and creation, but I don’t swallow ID or evolution hook line and sinker. Does evolution exist, of course it is simple genetics. Undesirable traits will die off over time and desirable traits will survive. Can a reptile change to avian over time? No I don’t think so and I can argue the point with science. Can a mammal change into a mammal that would be considered a different species over time? I think so and could argue that point with science.

    Sorry for the extra long response, I just hate junk science, bad statistics and theory being taught as hard fact.

  145. trollkiller says:

    @RvLeshrac: Ding Ding Ding… we have a winner!

    I would love to have a hybrid, not the current ones but something along the lines of the Chevy Volt. (I drive too far and at too high a speed for the current hybrids to fit my needs). The thing is I can’t afford a hybrid that won’t save me that much in gas. To be economically viable for me, I would have to save at least the difference in gas and what I would pay for a regular car and a hybrid. We are not there yet. I would also like to take my home off-grid, but once again the technology to do so is cost prohibitive.

    BTW unfortunately science is a popularity contest. it shouldn’t be but it is. Take a look at history and you will see when an unpopular theory but correct theory is put forth, it will takes a long time and more evidence than a popular theory needs before it is accepted. Sad but true. A good example would be that some ulcers are caused by a bacterium. See how long it took and what had to happen before that was accepted.

  146. danio3834 says:

    @Mike the Dog: The better question is, what would they drive if they were alive today?

  147. hotrodmetal says:

    Efficiency of a vehicle is subjective. My SUV gets 17mpg with four people in it on the Freeway. My v8 sports car gets 25mpg with 1-2 people in it on the freeway. Which is more efficent? Probably the SUV.

    I don’t care for the War in the mideast, but we are already paying the tax for it. I believe that the Saudi’s are the real culprits behind it all. They forget that it is not their oil, they just happen to be living on top of it. We only tolerate them. You are welcome to disagree to this if you like.

    It also ties into our tight relationship with Israel. It could be reasonable to believe that we keep most of the mideast from attacking Israel from our continued import of oil & presence in that area of the world.

    I find that most people talking about the environment always talk out of both sides of their mouth. They seem to have answers for everyone, but they exclude themselves out of the equation. Al Gore is a prime example.

    It’s really great that we can have differing opinions on the environment, etc.

    @goller321:

  148. danio3834 says:

    @goller321: You clearly missed my point all together.

    The personal automobile is what made the USA as great as it is today. If there was any one thing that promoted the expansion and economic freedom of the nation it was the automobile and freeways built to drive them on.

    Perhaps youd like to return to horse and buggy. Maybe you’d like to have your milk and bread delivered a day late at 10x the cost?

    I’m not talking about destroying the country, in your way, you are, by suggesting we drive a dagger in the heart of our economy even further. Youre concerned about ‘protecting’ this great land from “selfish” folks like me, but whats the use if theres nothing left to protect? Whats the use if everyone who lives here is forced to socialistically ‘conserve’ and only consume a narrow range of ‘socially approved’ goods.

    I for one, enjoy my standard of living, as I’m sure the rest of us bloggers do as well.

    The World War veterans I know would spit at what you said. They fought for liberty, against socialistic, communistic ideas such as these. There are FAR greater threats to the nation than carbon dioxide, such as poverty, illiteracy, economic depression and more.

    CAFE is a waste of time, money, resources, and breath, its %100 political and 0% reality. If you want a 35mpg car, you already have the option. For those who require something else, they have their options. Accept that there are others who choose a different lifestyle other than yours.

    I just thought I’d add that I’m certain that I recycle more tonnage than any given person who has posted here, so dont accuse me of being and environmental enemy.

    If CAFE castrates my 16mpg, large engined SUV, itll make my source of income that much harder to do.

    Not that youd care.

  149. spinachdip says:

    @trollkiller: “Why are you afraid to teach ID along side of it? Why are you afraid to compare?”

    I’m no more afraid of teaching ID alongside evolution any more than I’m afraid of teaching lolcatism alongside the Romance languages. Except lolcatism is a pidgin, so it’s actually a primitive form of language, which is more than can be said for ID’s relationship to science.

    As I mentioned above, even the folks at the Discovery Institute concede that ID doesn’t have any content. Imagine if you will, an empty box. Now, imagine a salesman telling you, “See this box here? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something in this box that challenged evolution? And even if it didn’t actually disprove evolution, it at least presented a competing theory, created some sort of controversy? Is that something you’d be interested in?” That’s what ID is, an empty box.

    It doesn’t matter that you don’t buy it hook line and sinker (what’s to buy?). The fact that you’re even considering this not-even-an-attempt-at-an-theory is a problem.

    There are real controversies in science, with actual competing theories. ID is nothing more than politically motivated obfuscation.

  150. Pope John Peeps II says:

    Wow. This comment board went all to batshit-crazy-capitalist-anti-communist-patriotic-no-hitler-fight-the-nazis-war-veteran-gaz-guzzling-patriotic-hamburger-suburban-boston-tea-party-magna-carta-bill-of-rights-I-can-do-what-I-want-happiness-is-a-warm-gun.

    Um. I’m never coming back here again.

    and @danio3834: everything you just wrote is pretty much everything that’s wrong with the way people today do things. I mean, if I had to summarize it in 500 words, that would actually be IT.

  151. danio3834 says:

    @ironchef: There are several companies and groups working on enzymes that produce synthetic gasoline.

    Its been done, so renewable petroleum is indeed a possibility.

  152. trollkiller says:

    @spinachdip: Then call the ID bluff. Tell them “ok we will teach it… where are the materials?”

    I already told you I hate junk science, and the best way to destroy junk science is to put it out there and refute it with evidence. Make them prove ID or in reality disprove evolution. The areas of evolution theory that ID can disprove will only make the science stronger by eliminating the crap.

    I can’t prove God, but I can show you where science theory and scripture agree. I can also hold your feet to the fire and make you prove your science “fact” or admit it is a theory and has the possibility of being wrong.

    If it takes people that believe the earth is only 8000 years old to make the science in the classroom honest, I am all for it.

  153. trollkiller says:

    @danio3834: Good to know, have they said how long it will take to get the technology viable?

  154. spinachdip says:

    @trollkiller: I should also add, you’re making the all-too typical twofold mistake that laymen make when using “fact” and “theory”. It would behoove you, especially as a home schooling parent, to read up on Stephen J. Gould. I think you’ll see how much rhetorical trickery Creationists and IDists get away with.

  155. TechnoDestructo says:

    @joelja:

    You know, getting more power from the same block might not be useless in environmental terms. Fuel economy may have been stagnant over the last few decades, but power has been pretty steadily rising. I suspect detuning some of the engines that we’ve been getting in the last few years could pay off in terms of economy and reliability.

  156. Heftyjo says:

    @goller321: And here we see what is the core of far leftist liberal agendas. On the surface is all wild exaggeration and straw man argument tactics to inflate their sense of benevolence. Then, there is the hidden and violent underlying agendas which basically boil down to eliminating anyone they disagree with. So, I wonder why a truly socialist form of government has never worked? Oh, thats right, because they generally degrade into brutally oppressing any form of dissent as it serves in the best interests of the body politic writ large.

    Here you have one side that says, “Own this, do it this way, or else,” and then you have “Buy the product that serves your needs at the price your willing to pay.” Which sounds more adaptable, sustainable, and pleasant?

  157. celyn says:

    Um… World War II wasn’t fought against “against socialistic, communistic ideas.” That was the Cold War. World War II was fought against imperialist dictatorships that were fascist and heavily nationalistic and, by the way, virulently opposed themselves to “communistic ideas.” Seriously dude, read some primary sources from the 30s and 40s. I really wish the right wing could extricate themselves from whatever it is that keeps their brains shackled in the 1950s.

  158. trollkiller says:

    @spinachdip: I know where you are going with this, but your Gould fellow is moving the fact bar to suit his needs. “in science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.”” also from the Gould page “The second and third arguments for evolution-the case for major changes-do not involve direct observation of evolution in action. They rest upon inference, but are no less secure for that reason.”In Gould’s world “looks like” is good enough. Pretty much the ID stance don’t you think? Sorry but inferernce is never as secure as observation.
    [www.stephenjaygould.org]

    I looked up fact [www.answers.com] and nowhere on the page did I see anything that came close to Gould’s definition. I did find the following and I think it sums up the difference between fact and theory nicely. (it is from the answers.com link)

    In science a fact is an objective and verifiable observation, in contrast with a theory, which is an explanation of or interpretation of facts. Scientific facts are believed to be independent from the observer in that no matter which scientist observes a phenomenon, all will reach the same necessary conclusion.

    This is the problem, the middle and high school text books show evolution as cut and dried. The books don’t say “it looks like this creature evolved from that creature” they say “this creature evolved from that creature”. Stating theory as fact. Unless you have the interim animals in sufficient numbers to breed, you can’t make the claim as fact. (I put in the “breed” disclaimer to eliminate any chance of finding a birth defect and claiming a missing link)

    Seriously if you can get your hands on a high school biology book, you will be shocked. First you will be shocked that it is written at a 4th grade level and second you will be shocked at the “facts” it contains.

    I remember what I was taught about evolution and I see how much of it has been tossed due to new evidence. I also see what has been held onto without good supporting evidence. It bugs me that science will hold onto things that makes little logical sense because it fits the story. It also bugs me when the ID people do the same. No Noah did not have a T-Rex riding along on the ark. All dinosaurs were not vegetarians.

    Children deserve to be taught the facts as facts and the theories as theories. We may be robbing ourselves of brilliant theories because we have told the children the problem has already been solved.

    To put this back on topic, what if we told our kids that 30 MPG cars were it, you can’t squeeze any more mileage out of a car and they listened?

    BTW thanks for the heads up on Gould, I am going to look more into his work.

  159. trollkiller says:

    @celyn: I really wish the right wing could extricate themselves from whatever it is that keeps their brains shackled in the 1950s.

    It is the smell of hippies that keeps us in the 50s.
    ;-)

  160. asherchang2 says:

    @rioja951: What are you talking about? Ethanol burns dirtier than gasoline, and to make it from corn, we have to burn almost an equivalent amount of fossil fuels. Ethanol subsidies are nothing more than government blowjobs for agricorp lobbyists.

  161. RvLeshrac says:

    @trollkiller:

    Don’t cite the H. pylori studies, if you’re trying to prove scientific bias. It took a mere 15 years for their original study to make its way into the medical community – not because anyone was attempting to hide it, but because that’s a somewhat standard (shorter, really) length of time between a discovery of that magnitude (a bacterium which survives *in* the stomach, which is extremely inhospitable) and enough evidence to prove it.

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” and the scientific community does just that – searches for evidence. If you really wish to get technical, other researchers were replicating the experiments a mere 5-6 years after the original study.

    Science moves at a slow pace, yes, but that’s because there’s not enough money to replicate *EVERY* experiment, so one has to choose between attempting to replicate an experiment which does not mesh with what we currently know, and an experiment which shows more promise. We always get around to the unusual, but the individuals who provide grant money do so on the promise of results.

    I’ll hunt around, I recall an article on this precise subject which explains things far better than I can in a limited space.

    With regards to evolution, it is the basis for nearly all of modern medical science. If one casts off evolution as though it were a sackcloth, one must also cast off everything derived from it – it would no longer be science.

    On the subject of ‘fact’ vs. ‘theory,’ a ‘fact’ is an observation of an indisputable nature. “Water is wet,” “Fire is hot.” A Theory is a hypothesis which, though it cannot be proven absolutely (there is very little which can be proven absolute), has been proven to such a great degree that one can state it with confidence. “Disease is caused by germs,” “The Sun is the center of the solar system.” You cannot *directly observe* the last two items, but no one would (assuming sanity, in modern times) deny them. We have such great bodies of evidence pointing at them that they have risen from “Hypothesis” to “Theory.” The fact (har har) of the matter is that “fact” and “theory” mean two entirely different things in the context of science vs. the world at large. This is in the same way that “Imaginary Number” does not mean the same thing to you (presumably) as it does to a mathematician.

  162. ExecutorElassus says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: Sophisticated and refined? Hell, I grew up in Virginia. And to answer your question, I drove from Buffalo to Seattle in three days, then to San Diego in another three, then from there to Ohio (via that vast American West) in three more days. Plus time to stop over with friends and see some sights, the whole loop-de-loop took two weeks to cover 8,000 miles. All in a ’98 Corolla, that got 36mpg going 85 most of the way.

    The point the greenie wackos are trying to make is not the Luddite or Socialist ones of which we seem to be accused. The cars Big Three makes are, by and large, wasteful pieces of junk. You can easily make an SUV get 40mpg, without breaking the bank, and with plenty of horsepower. Electric traction drives can deliver way more torque than internal combustion (like I said, try flooring a Tesla); that’s why all diesel locomotives are actually hybrids. The reason Big Three hasn’t is pure laziness, combined with the US policy of artificially depressing gas prices, encouraging waste.

  163. JONNRG says:

    Damn those cowardly polititians!

    This will not reduce oil consumption or greenhouse gas emissions. They took the path of least resistance, and least effect. This does nothing. The people who drive big vehicles will still drive them, they just won’t be able to buy new, more modern ones.

  164. jeff303 says:

    @JiminyChristmas: And most people outgrow ad-hominem attacks by the age of 22 and discuss ideas on merit instead of just knee jerk reactions. Oh wait, I mean, er “Ayn Rand is evil”. There we go, all better

  165. 00solstice says:

    @ExecutorElassus:

    To paraphrase your request, how about you provide some peer-reviewed scientific articles written by independent researchers (that is, not funded by private or government grants ear-marked specifically for researching the effects of man on global warming) that verifies global warming is caused by man, and verifies man has the ability to reverse the global warming.

    If you walk up to 100 academic climate-change scientists, and you say “I’m going to pay you $XX for a study to research to what extent man has on global warming, and to what extent global warming is detrimental to man,” how many of those climate-change scientists are going to present results that create alarm, a sense of importance, and high-priority? Honestly. Yes, I understand principles behind scientific process. But also understand that all scientists are human, and subject to influence of personal concerns, professional ambition, politics within their field. How many of those 100 climate-change scientists are going to hope you’re willing to pay them another $XX for another study? What are they willing to say to ensure that? If these climate-change scientists regularly publish findings that state man has a negligible impact on climate change, and climate change has a negligible impact on man, how much more funding would these scientists expect for future studies? And what would these climate-change scientists do for employment if no one was willing to pay them for any more studies? Who would feed their kids? Contribute to the retirement? Offer them tenure? What economic future do they have without a sense of prioity or importance?

    Fear and alarmism is big money, kids. It sells newspapers, books, tv appearances, documentaries. Those raise alarm among the public who, in turn, pressure the government for action. The government passes out money for more research, and the climate-change scientists retain their jobs and economic security.

    I was in a discussion with a friend about man-made global warming last night. After he delivered a lengthy diatribe about trusting the experts and the dire consequences should no action be taken, I asked him to replace every instance of “man-made global warming” with “terrorism”… Did his argument sound then sound very familiar? Yep. Did it sound like the same argument used for things like the Patriot Act and Iraq War Resolution? Yep. Did those foreign policy analysts, intelligence officials, and terrorism experts have kids to feed, professional ambitions, retirements to fund, just like the climate-change scientists? Yep. Alarmism is big money for a lot of folks. And the cost to the rest of us high.

    (for further reading on fear, alarmism, and scientific funding — http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008220 )

  166. synergy says:

    “That Al Gore shit”?

    No, the majority of the scientific community’s “shit.”

    If you look at the amount of “in doubt” and “it’s not true” articles in popular media versus the number of “it’s happening” articles in the scientific community’s literature, you’ll see the vast difference between what’s being sold to the public and what’s true.

    One of the two can be easily “swayed” by those who stand to lose if global warming is accepted by the public. The other, not as easily. Guess which one is effected by manufacturers and energy interest and the average joe might sort of understand?

  167. Skiffer says:

    Climate change / global warming aside…

    Higher CAFE standards make perfect economic sense to me.

    First, the “free market” complaints…The gov’t intervenes in the economy all the time. Moreover, it’s impossible for them NOT to intervene somehow (taxes, at the least).

    No one can argue that increased gas/energy prices have not affected other aspects of the economy beyond consumer vehicle purchases and gas budgets.

    Energy is a base commodity, upon which everything else in this economy is built. It affects all aspects of the economy, and deserves oversight and regulation.

  168. bob9 says:

    @TurboBrick:

    before or after Diesel becomes 50 state legal?

    Nice try. Not everyone wants to be like Europe… Sure Ikea, iPods, Macs, Starbucks and Smart Cars are really nice things and make life sooo easy for the stupid. But not everyone wants those things.

    And who mentioned cars that go 4x the legal speed limit? Surely you jest. The idea that an affordable car reaches 280mph is ridiculous.

    lets be realistic here. Those that understand how an automobile works please step forward.

    *counts*… 1..2..3..4..5..6.. Ok you guys are good.

    Those that yearn for a Prius, tell others to ride a bike and drive a hand me down

    *counts* 1…2.3…4..5..6..7……..100….3000…

    yeah… lets speak about what we know about.

  169. goller321 says:

    @trollkiller: A little knowledge goes a short way. Nothing in your post about private property is applicable to driving a car.
    1.) No one is taking away your vehicle. But if the government so chose, they could make it illegal to drive with no problem.
    2.) Driving is a state governed process. If it was a right to drive, they could not require tests for the privilege to do so.
    3.) If deemed a “health risk” the government is in very was justified by your own citation.

    Drop the “killer” from your username- you’re simply a troll…

  170. goller321 says:

    @trollkiller: In reference to your religious statement. Bush has not only stated believing in creationism (he’s made comments about the Grand Canyon being formed by Noah’s flood) and has made statements endorsing Creationism being taught in the classroom. That pretty much seals the case for me.

    And by God if you didn’t completely tip your hand. You call me a liberal nutjob, but you’re a stereotypical whacko homeschooler. Avain and repiles coming from a common ancestor… Archaeopteryx. Gee a piece to the puzzle… who’d a thunk. How about that they carry extremely similar genetic make up? Nah, couldn’t be… The fact that they both share a heterogametic female having ZW and males having ZZ… huh, well that seems odd….

    The truth is is that you are a christian right nutjob. The christain type (yes you mentioned there a good christians, and I agree) like Falwell and Robertson that are the reason people have such disdain for the Christian right. What I can’t believe is the audacity that you even call yourself a christian. You demonstrate NONE of Christ’s teaching or examples. I actually find it amusing to a point. Your complete lack of self-introspection will mean that this will pass right over your head. You will no doubt respond with vial and hatred as you have in other posts (not saying I haven’t… but then again I don’t claim to be a christian…)

  171. goller321 says:

    @trollkiller: Of yeah and the constitution doesn’t give you the “right” to own anything specific. The government caps our rights (and rightly so) on may things. And by the way, you’re trying to amend your argument. Before it was your right to drive a gas guzzler… and I think was all know you are 100% wrong about that!

  172. Rusted says:

    By 2020, CAFE standards of 35 MPG will be meaningless. There will be gasoline but it’s going to be sold in vials….

  173. I don’t see why there has to be such a big bruhahaw over global warming. Isn’t it generally accepted that air pollution is bad for you?

  174. trollkiller says:

    @goller321: Damn dude, at least read. First you amended the argument by claming “anything specific” not the “anything” in your first post. Secondly I did not mention driving at all, I just cited the fact the Constitution recognizes privately owned property. BTW The privilege of driving ONLY applies to public roads, not private property. Yep that’s right, I can drive on my land without a license.

    Logan called you a liberal nutjob, I called you a Loopy Lefty. Please keep it straight.

    I asked you for some cites showing Bush is anti evolution. Like I said I don’t recall him saying anything like that. You said he did so I asked for proof. I did a Google search using “Bush evolution” and did not find what you say he said. So cite it or hush.

    Archaepteryx is NOT the common ancestor, Archaepteryx is considered an interim animal (link) between Maniraptora (Theropod dinosaur) and birds. Please if you are going to try and spank someone at least take the time to verify your info.

    So what post was vial or hate filled? Was it the “hippies smell”? Take a bath and cool off, you are pretty much babbling.